Simple Songwriter for iPhone is a chord finder.

I always say melody trumps the sounds you choose and I use a variety of helper software to find nice melodies. Harmony Navigator has been my favorite non-mobile application for this task. On my iPhone I’ve been using Star Guitar (iTunes link) to generate ideas and today I found another useful tool Simple Songwriter (iTunes link) from Hopefully Useful Software. It’s a simple chord selector/player/recorder and if you’re making lyric based songs it’s sure to give you a few ideas.

“Beginners to advanced musicians can use this app to leave thinking behind and bring the fun back into creating music. All the chords given sound great together and most pop/rock songs will use a combination of these chords. The touchscreen gives you the perfect environment to quickly and easily generate song ideas. When you have a great song idea, record it for later practice on your chosen instrument. List view allows you to browse your songs chords, while the song key section can transpose your idea to any key instantly.” –

For more info:

Related post: Harmony Navigator Screencast from wire to the ear.

Star Guitar is a useful idea generator.

Star Guitar is a guitar chord playing app for the iPhone. It’s from Amido, Inc who already brought us As you can see from the video you simply click around the iPhone’s screen and Star Guitar will strum chords. You have 144 chords to choose from. Here’s the kicker…  Star Guitar records your chord selections and your voice as you sing along. Think about that for a minute. Ok done? Now go buy Star Guitar, grab some headphones and go into your car. Drive to some empty parking lot. Load up Star Guitar hit record and sing along while you pick some chords. Now granted if your a guitar player this is probably all useless but for myself I had a blast doing that whole car thing this morning. I came up with at least two songs I’m going to flesh out. Everything you record can be brought back into your computer. There is one important feature request I would like to make. I want to be able to export the guitar and vocals separately. This is really a necessary option to grab bits of a great vocal take and apply processing to them.

“The unique concept of Star Guitar delivers an astonishing 144 chords at one screen. There are 7 root notes, every note has 5 chord modifiers. With such range, almost any song can be played. Turn a modifier on/off by tapping it. It’s really very simple. There are two modes for strumming chords: manual (with “SmartStrumming” technology for added realism) and automatic. Automatic mode is the “virtual guitarist”, with 18+ rhythm patterns to be picked from, each pattern has A and B variations (for chorus and verse). But that’s not all! You can export your recordings to .WAV / .CAF and bring them to your desktop computer via the built-in server over wi-fi.” –

We are now well into music apps with AI such as Songsmith, Harmony Navigator and SongFrame. If you add in helper and inspiration tools like Masterwriter and a C-Thru Axis keyboard writers block could be a thing of the past. Just remember to live life because your going to still need “something” interesting to say!

If guitar isn’t your forte for inspiration it’s ok because Star Piano is in the works. For more info:

Related post: Miro Pajic plays Jam Sessions in my studio.